Longer daylight hours and warm weather have arrived and with them all that innate spring-cleaning energy that makes you want to tackle every project on your to-do list simultaneously. (Just us?) And at the top of our list is opening shop for Upper Notch Press—we’re almost there! Here are a few things that have been inspiring us to power through spring break, April showers, and seasonal allergies.

INDULGING in the all-natural pleasure that comes from cleaning up the yard. Whether it’s potting a pretty plant or a few minutes of weeding or clearing away the final leafy remnants of fall and winter, something about the fresh air, the quiet time spent under a clear spring sky and the satisfaction of gazing out on a neat and happy lawn leaves us all calm and rosy-cheeked.

ABSORBING happy, energetic vibes from all the runners out training for the upcoming warm-weather race season. One of us (Jacqueline!) currently falls into this category, pacing out the miles for the Shipyard Maine Coast Half-Marathon on May 13; the other is proud to complete two full laps around the local park. Despite the different ways we approach running right now, what we have in common is its importance in our lives as a mood booster and cure-all for, ya know, whatever ails you. (Running is also a major focus of our first Upper Notch Press collection!)

LISTENING to the Wye Oak Jim Eno Sessions song “Watching the Waiting” on repeat. Can you hear the promise of brighter days ahead, like a moment of comfort, even in the midst of uncertainty? It does a pretty amazing job of putting words to the sensation of existing in a time of transition—And there is nowhere I need to go // And there is nothing left to do // And I am sitting watching myself // Watching you // Watching the waiting. Emotionally, romantically—sure. But also just mentally, spiritually. Shifting in and out of the sunrises and sunsets. Kind of like moving from winter to spring.

“All I know is this
There are times when, to me
You seem to glow from within
And I wonder how this moment could possibly be
And how much was of my choosing
And what chose me
And I couldn’t care less
When it all adds up
And I feel I am closest to what I really am”